News & Views

Good Food is Not (Only) a Class Issue

A few alarming statistics:

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Takeaways From the 2010 Kellogg Foundation Food & Community Gathering

I was excited to be included at this year's W.K. Kellogg Foundation Food & Community Networking Meeting, held from April 27 - 29 in Chandler, Arizona. Even before I got there, I knew I was going to be able to meet the people behind lots of amazing food-related projects and websites, hear about their progress, and connect on important issues. Advance materials from the Kellogg Foundation informed me that:

Food & Community is based on the precept that all segments of a community must work together to surround children with healthy food and routine physical activity in the places they live, work, and play.

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Why Animal Lovers Should Eat Meat

Alright, I’ll admit that the title of this article is a shameless attempt to capture your attention. There really isn’t a reason, as far as I can tell, why animal lovers should eat meat – that is, no reason why eating meat is ethically superior or preferable to abstaining and going vegetarian.

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Observations from a School Lunch with My Kids - and the Cook Manager

Today is the deadline for entries for the “Eat Lunch with Your Kids” contest. Thanks to all of you who have sent such terrific stories about your school lunch with your sons and daughters. If you haven't sent us your entry, please do so today -- or you’ll miss your chance to win a one-year supply of Organic Valley milk and much more!

Although I’m not allowed participate in the contest, I did commit to eating lunch at school with my twin eight-year-olds. And taking pictures and writing about it. So two weeks ago, I packed their lunches (as I usually do) and planned to meet them at 12:00 sharp in the school cafeteria -- only they would be eating Annie's organic, whole-wheat macaroni and cheese with peas; Gala apples; Minneola tangerines; local carrots; and organic lemonade, and I would be eating:

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Five Food Stories: Which One is an April Fool's Hoax?

About 40 years ago, on April Fool’s Day, I secretly dumped all the white sugar out of my mother’s sugar bowl and filled it with salt. When she poured her first cup of coffee that morning, and added her spoonful of “sugar,” she tasted, for the first time, her daughter’s love of practical jokes.

I wanted to play a joke on all of you today, too, to commemorate that one date every year when we are encouraged to lighten up and not take everything so seriously. But I don’t have legal access to your sugar bowls -- and even if I did, what are the chances that you, my fellow “eat-real-food” aficionados, would have them filled with white, processed sugar?

So my April Fool’s joke for you is a collection of five food-related stories that sound preposterous enough to be fake.

But only one is. The rest, believe it or not, are true -- to the best of my knowledge.

See if you can figure out which is which. And no cheating!

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Is Packing My Kids' Lunches a Privilege or a Pain in the Apple?

School lunches have come under some serious scrutiny as of late, and, it seems, not a moment too soon. As Americans try to find explanations for our growing obesity epidemic, the food available to children during the school day is being fingered as one of myriad culprits. I was horrified to read about the low cost, low quality, highly processed junk consistently fed to American children, day in and day out, under the National School Lunch Program. I was fired up and inspired after watching Jamie Oliver’s impassioned TED prize acceptance speech and call to arms to try to recapture our lost food culture by teaching children about cooking and eating good, fresh food.

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Two Views of School Lunches: Jamie Oliver's and Mine

Last Sunday evening I watched the sneak preview of the Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. Oliver is a world-renowned chef from Essex, England, who was one of the first celebrity chefs of The Food Network. He's known for his emphasis on fresh, local foods and a casual, no-fear approach to cooking.

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School Lunch Contest: Eat Lunch With Your Kids, Send Us the Pictures, Win Prizes!

Last week's school lunch post, our "Open Letter to Our Children," was a direct response to the sixth graders at Minneapolis' Sanford Middle School who I'd met with the month before. Their question was simple and heartbreaking: if our communities love us, why do they knowingly feed us this junk?

The response to this post was fantastic. Many of you provided explanations, made suggestions, and shared your own views, and we at SGT were reminded once again of how much we love this community. For example, Laura wrote:

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An Open Letter to Our Children: We're Sorry About School Lunch

I recently had the chance to sit down with a handful of sixth graders at Sanford Middle School in Minneapolis. The students had been complaining that the lunches they were being served tasted bad and made them feel sick, and their teacher asked me to come answer questions, provide context, and make suggestions.

For an hour, these thoughtful students and I discussed healthy food choices, growing a garden, being pressed for time (a 12 year old girl told me she didn't have time to put an apple in her backpack in the morning), eating on a budget, and how to affect change. I've been thinking about the discussion ever since.

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Minnesota Foodshare Needs Your Help

It’s March. We're roasting the last of the butternut squash. We're down to the last few tomatoes we canned last summer. The frozen corn and blueberry supplies are dwindling. But our pantry shelves are not the only ones running low.

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